The Chicago Bulls proved that they can lose to crap teams at home with or without Derrick Rose by falling to the Charlotte Hornets.
The Bulls didn't come out lifeless and deflated. They just finished that way.
They actually jumped out to a fairly big first quarter lead until the Hornets reigned them in to tie the game at 20 a piece. The teams battled back and forth, but went into half time tied at 44.
In the second half, and particularly in the 4th quarter, the Bulls simply dropped the rope. In the end, Al Jefferson was able to find repeated success in the post while the Bulls struggled to get much going.
By the time Jimmy Butler hit a pair of consecutive baskets, the lead had grown too much, and Chicago still couldn't stop the Bobcats.
The Bulls need to find their groove without Rose
Unlike the past couple seasons, they have little time to do it right now, and it doesn't look like there's a waiver saver like D.J. Augustin set to come in and help.
Chicago didn't shoot the ball horribly at 44%, but their 18% from the three point line was pretty awful (and the result of a poor shooting night). While the Bulls weren't bad with turnovers or offensive rebounding, the Hornets were better with both.
The razor thin margin without Derrick Rose taking up attention and playing meaningful minutes is back. In the end, the Bulls bench was awful. With Aaron Brooks starting and Kirk Hinrich playing bench PG minutes, the Bulls had very little pop off the bench.
I like that Brooks got the start as he's clearly the better player, but Chicago needs more shot creation on the floor if Hinrich is going to be out there. At this point, it's time to see what Doug McDermott or E'tuan Moore can do, because Hinrich isn't bringing anything to the table.
Joakim back as a playmaker
Noah finished with eight assists against one turnover, and we got to see some of his strengths on display. At the same time, it's worth remembering the Bulls were last in offense with Noah leading it last season.
It's good that he get some looks, keeps the ball moving, and provides another way for the Bulls to attack, but Chicago can't count on Noah to produce quality offense for the team.
I do like his greater involvement though and in some ways the ball movement looked better against Charlotte than in recent games. Unfortunately, even with good ball movement, Chicago couldn't buy a bucket, particularly a long range one.
Hopefully, we'll see a better effort Friday.
Derrick's tear theoretically minimal
The general consensus is that Rose's tear isn't that bad. It's a smaller tear and at this point he'll do the trim procedure instead of the reattachment [which may not be a viable choice even if he wanted to do it].
In that instance, he's looking at a recovery time between 3-8 weeks. There's no timetable set until after surgery. Eight weeks puts him as recovering during the first round of the playoffs, three weeks has him recovering considerably before then.
Looking at his history, as I noted yesterday, you should take the expected longest recovery time and add about 25-30% of the total recovery time to it and that's when we can expect Derrick back. That's how long it took on the ACL and first meniscus tear.
Maybe some of that was mental. Maybe he's in a different place now. Who knows. My guess though is that unless Rose is back at the early end of the time table (say one month) and gets a good five to ten regular season games under his belt that even if he will return for the playoffs he'll be so out of sync it won't help.
Really, the Bulls weren't even in sync enough this season after 50+ games, so the idea that Rose will miss a month then be back to 100% and have time to get the whole team in sync is somewhat of a pipe dream. Rose has shown a history of also playing very poorly initially when returning from injury, so my hopes are pretty low.
Sorry for raining on your parade.
I'm sure if we get to the point where he actually is coming back, some hope will be reborn, but at this point it has to be viewed as pretty faint.
Bulls considering Nate Robinson
Realgm reports that the Bulls are having exploratory talks with Nate Robinson.
Robinson has a strong desire to come back to Chicago where he had probably his greatest season. Bulls fans certainly have a strong love for Robinson as well.
Personally, as much as I loved Nate when he was here, I'm probably passing on him. He does know the system. He does know the players. Unfortunately, he hasn't played well since tearing his ACL, and I'd guess he's simply lost a step.
For a guy who's 5'9 to no longer have elite quickness means it's game over. He's been absolutely awful this season, and some of that may be circumstantial, but it's by far the worst season of his career. Combine that with the ACL, and I figure the odds aren't so great of things going well here.
I'd simply rather not tarnish my Nate Robinson memory at this point. I'd wager that E'Twuan Moore is going to give the Bulls more than Nate right now, so I'd stick in that direction and sign someone else to be the new 14th/15th guy in case current guys go down.
I'm still pulling for Toney Douglas personally. That said, I wouldn't hate the move if we did get Nate, but I just wouldn't have much in terms of expectations.
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